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Had to sent my 2015 in to the dealer because it was pulling to the left, vibrate on brake and continue to vibrate after a hard brake for few miles. Turns out that one of the front brake caliper is seized up and the whole assembly has to be replaced. I saw an older forum post talking about this. Is this normal? Did I miss some maintenance steps? Or did the horrible winter, pot holes, several hard braking causes it to seize/warp prematurely?

It went in several weeks ago for 30K maintenance and the mechanic only mention the rear pads getting low. Either the mechanics didn't check the front brakes properly or it developed within a short few weeks.
 

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A seized caliper does happen from time to time on all makes and models. IME, it typically happens when:

a. the sliding pins on the calipers aren't properly lubricated and a bit of rust occurs on them causing the part that slides on the pin to seize;
b. the brake pad's plate rusted to the caliper itself;
c. the piston is seized for some reason.

The seizing doesn't happen overnight but is hard to detect before it happens as you can only really tell either by taking the caliper apart OR by watching the motion of the caliper as you brake (ie see if the motion is smooth or not while engaging and disengaging the brake). Typically a visual inspection is done to see how much pad material is left as well as a test drive. If nothing is detected during those two events, the brake system is given the thumbs up.

When I service my brakes, I typically remove the sliding pins, clean and lube them as well as remove the pads for a close up inspection of them.

If your caliper was replaced, then it was either the sliding or the piston was at fault.

As with all rust issues, the source of the problem is salt and water.
 

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Seized Brakes

The brakes on my daughters 2013 Crosstrek are driving us crazy. The car was bought new the first year in January 2013 and has been in Maine its whole life. It currently only has about 60K on it.

At about 20K I took it back to the dealer and he replaced the front brakes under warranty because they were worn quite a bit plus he lubed the pins on the rears at the same time. At about 40K or so she started to have problems with the brakes seizing up rather randomly. It happened first to one wheel and it wasn’t long before 2 or 3 other wheels also seized up. She had to pull over, let them cool down, and then continue on. The car sits out in our Maine winters so at that point I replaced the pads, rotors, and calipers with new Napa parts and they seemed to be fine. One of the reasons I replaced them was most of the brake parts were quite rusted and corroded.

Last Fall with about 48K on it she took a road trip out west, camping and visiting some friends. She had been on the road 2-3 days when she got near the Dallas-Ft Worth and one of the front brakes seized up again. She went to an independent Subaru mechanic the next day and he looked at the brakes, lubed the pins up but could see no reason why it had seized up. The mechanic also happened to own a 2013 Crosstrek so he was familiar with the car.

After that while camping in the Rockies it appeared she picked up a rock under a pad ?? (I have never heard of that happening), and had some problems with some pulling. By the time she got to a mechanic they couldn’t find any problems with the brakes! She continued the trip to California, down the coast, through Arizona, up to Utah and then east again with no problems until tonight!

The car has been sitting for a few days and after about 10 miles, the car didn’t feel right to her and one of the front wheels had seized up. She let it cool down for about an hour and drove back in to town and the brakes appeared to be fine, not hot to the touch, and no seizing. I’ve had it with Subaru brakes.

Has anybody else out there had any similar problems? Does a Subaru need to have the brakes taken apart once a year or periodically and have the pins lubed, etc? Any thoughts will be appreciated.
 

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First off - Kudos to your daughter for understanding when the brakes aren't feeling right and finding someone to look after it before continuing her trip. Too many people these days just drive the car without any understanding when things don't feel right!

Second - I hate to say this but once you replaced the Subaru parts with Napa parts, those aren't Subaru brakes anymore - they are Napa brakes as they are Napa parts. Subaru supplied the original caliper for Napa (if it's a rebuild) but Subaru didn't rebuild it or supplied the spec's to rebuild it. If it was new from Napa, then Subaru may not even have supplied the original core caliper.

I would take the calipers back to Napa and get them to replace them.
 

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The brakes on my daughters 2013 Crosstrek are driving us crazy. The car was bought new the first year in January 2013 and has been in Maine its whole life. It currently only has about 60K on it.

At about 20K I took it back to the dealer and he replaced the front brakes under warranty because they were worn quite a bit plus he lubed the pins on the rears at the same time. At about 40K or so she started to have problems with the brakes seizing up rather randomly. It happened first to one wheel and it wasn’t long before 2 or 3 other wheels also seized up. She had to pull over, let them cool down, and then continue on. The car sits out in our Maine winters so at that point I replaced the pads, rotors, and calipers with new Napa parts and they seemed to be fine. One of the reasons I replaced them was most of the brake parts were quite rusted and corroded.

Last Fall with about 48K on it she took a road trip out west, camping and visiting some friends. She had been on the road 2-3 days when she got near the Dallas-Ft Worth and one of the front brakes seized up again. She went to an independent Subaru mechanic the next day and he looked at the brakes, lubed the pins up but could see no reason why it had seized up. The mechanic also happened to own a 2013 Crosstrek so he was familiar with the car.

After that while camping in the Rockies it appeared she picked up a rock under a pad ?? (I have never heard of that happening), and had some problems with some pulling. By the time she got to a mechanic they couldn’t find any problems with the brakes! She continued the trip to California, down the coast, through Arizona, up to Utah and then east again with no problems until tonight!

The car has been sitting for a few days and after about 10 miles, the car didn’t feel right to her and one of the front wheels had seized up. She let it cool down for about an hour and drove back in to town and the brakes appeared to be fine, not hot to the touch, and no seizing. I’ve had it with Subaru brakes.

Has anybody else out there had any similar problems? Does a Subaru need to have the brakes taken apart once a year or periodically and have the pins lubed, etc? Any thoughts will be appreciated.

with all those issues and front pads being changed at 20k (rears should go first and much later) I suspect she's riding the brakes or something.
 

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Ok Guys here I am again with the same brake problems happening all over again. I posted 6 months or so ago and once before I believe about brake issues on a 2013 Crosstrek, the first year of the model. When this happened six months ago we sought out a Subaru mechanic's garage and they put new calipers (under Napa Warranty less than 2 years old) and pads/rotors on the front along with some work on the rear. When that shop test drove the car after the work was done they had a problem with the right front brake sticking and they replaced the rubber flex line on the right front wheel. Everything seemed to be fine until about 3 weeks ago when my daughter started home and felt the car just wasn't handling right. (She has had lots of experience with this now.) Sure enough, her left front wheel was very hot, not completely seized so she let it set and cool down then returned to her house. I was leaving on a trip the next day or so and just got around to looking at the left front brakes. The caliper pins seemed to be well lubed and free so I thought I would change the left front flex line based on the previous work and something else I read on line.

We're still not convinced the flex line will take care of the problem but wondering if anyone has had anything similar on their Subarus? I have never experienced the problems with brakes as I have had on this car, it has also had wheel bearings replaced, one in the front and two in the rear. The car has been driven almost entirely by my daughter on paved roads and she has 12+ years of driving experience on various vehicles. We are in Maine so the chemicals and salt they use in the winter are pretty harsh on the exposed brake parts, (calipers, pad metal, and rotors). I have wondered recently if possibly the anti-lock braking system could have a problem with it but that is an expensive part to replace.
 

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Ok Guys here I am again with the same brake problems happening all over again. I posted 6 months or so ago and once before I believe about brake issues on a 2013 Crosstrek, the first year of the model. When this happened six months ago we sought out a Subaru mechanic's garage and they put new calipers (under Napa Warranty less than 2 years old) and pads/rotors on the front along with some work on the rear. When that shop test drove the car after the work was done they had a problem with the right front brake sticking and they replaced the rubber flex line on the right front wheel. Everything seemed to be fine until about 3 weeks ago when my daughter started home and felt the car just wasn't handling right. (She has had lots of experience with this now.) Sure enough, her left front wheel was very hot, not completely seized so she let it set and cool down then returned to her house. I was leaving on a trip the next day or so and just got around to looking at the left front brakes. The caliper pins seemed to be well lubed and free so I thought I would change the left front flex line based on the previous work and something else I read on line.

We're still not convinced the flex line will take care of the problem but wondering if anyone has had anything similar on their Subarus? I have never experienced the problems with brakes as I have had on this car, it has also had wheel bearings replaced, one in the front and two in the rear. The car has been driven almost entirely by my daughter on paved roads and she has 12+ years of driving experience on various vehicles. We are in Maine so the chemicals and salt they use in the winter are pretty harsh on the exposed brake parts, (calipers, pad metal, and rotors). I have wondered recently if possibly the anti-lock braking system could have a problem with it but that is an expensive part to replace.
I've just recently changed out the pads to OEM pads and re-surfaced the rotors at apprx 78k miles on my 2015 which is longest life I've had on brake pads. It still had some life in them when I changed them out. Yesterday I've noticed sharp burning smell as I exited my car and realized that my front left brake was unusually hot.

Now at 83k miles, I took the wheel off and all seemed fine as caliper did not even seize on to the pads and the pads were moving freely as well. So, I've just cleaned parts off, let caliper pistons extend all the way out and in, and assembled everything again, and will have to monitor what is going on.

How did your daughter's brake issues end up?
 

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I'm back again. My daughter took her 2013 Crosstrek back to a Subaru dealer 6 months ago after a Subaru shop (not a dealer) told her they could find nothing wrong with her brakes but the steering wheel was off center 2-3 degrees. Their thoughts at the time was that when applying the brakes the car was compensating for the steering wheel being slightly off so the ABS brakes were trying to compensate for the steering wheel. This is a shop that has been in business for mostly Subarus for several years. They said they couldn't find anything wrong with the brakes or calipers.

When she went to the dealer to get the steering checked they told her that she was going have two recalls done while it was there. One recall was to replace the valve springs because they could break. They told her the engine had to come out for the work and they gave her a loaner, free, for a week. The second recall they said was for a faulty brake switch (not sure where it is in the brake system) that could allow moisture to seep in and corrode over time and it affected several things in the brake system, including locked up wheels. The Service Writer told her the previous shops diagnosis of the steering wheel being off wasn't accurate and when they replaced faulty brake switch it would take care of her brake problems.

After about 5 months my daughter started to have her right rear wheel heat up frequently. I bought and IR Thermometer and the wheel consistently will heat up about twice the temp of the other three wheels. I finally had time to look at it today. So when I pulled the rear wheel off and looked at the brakes I initially could see that the rotor had kind of reddish rust on it and appeared to have been hot and the rotor was already being scored somewhat compared to the opposite wheel. I took the caliper off and the pads, cleaned the little channel the pads sit in and cleaned the ends real good, then used a wire wheel to clean them up even more. I then put some disc brake grease on the ends of the pads and reinstalled them. I also sprayed around the piston boot with brake cleaner and cleaned the rubber and the area with a small brush. I then used a C-clamp and thought I would if there was any stickiness in the caliper piston but it moved very freely.

I need to say other than the scoring on the rotor the brake pads and caliper didn't really look abnormally rusty or corroded.

Have I told you how much I love this car?:mad:

I've been wondering if there could be something wrong with the ABS control that could have been causing this. Anybody got any thoughts? Thanks for your time!
 
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